Instigated by Canada in June 1998, the International Network on Cultural Policy (INCP) continues to be an informal, international venue where national ministers responsible for culture can explore and exchange views on new and emerging cultural policy issues and develop strategies to promote cultural diversity. The INCP Liaison Bureau – the Network's secretariat – is housed in Canadian Heritage's International Affairs Branch.
The INCP aims to strengthen cultural policies so that governments, together with civil society, can create an international environment that values diversity, creativity, accessibility and freedom by:
offering a means through which participants can share their expertise, exchange views and information, and strengthen domestic and international partnerships;
raising awareness of the importance of cultural diversity and identity to social and economic development;
advancing dialogue on cultural policy issues by ensuring that culture is "on the table" in international, national and local fora.
Members of the International Network on Cultural Policy (INCP) are discussing and examining how to address the many challenges and opportunities associated with the growing importance of cultural diversity and identity in an increasingly globalized world. Although globalization – through the increasing mobility of people, trade liberalization, new communication technologies and industry consolidation – offers great opportunities for cultural expression, it also poses challenges to governments, civil society and the private sector in nurturing this diversity. The challenge for countries will be to remain open to the best the world has to offer, while nurturing domestically rich and diverse cultural expression. For more information on the INCP and its activities, please visit: http://www.incp-ripc.org.